Continued from Powerless, part VII:
After listening to his wife unleash years of pent up rage and hostility in his direction, he was thinking of ways to retaliate against her, stand up to the allegations that she had tossed at him with all the fury that heartfelt oppression, whether real or imagined, can inflict. He wanted to fight back against every assertion and insult thrown at him.
But he thought better.
Dan had, during her verbal assault thought to himself This is not the woman I loved. If this is how she feels, how she deep down feels, how can that love ever be made whole again? Dan wasn’t the greatest lover ever, nor was he the smartest man on earth, but he had come to one conclusion. If she ever wanted him again, she would come back, and if not then not. That simple. He was not going to force her to do anything. With her words she had painted the picture of him as a controlling man who domineered her.
He didn’t see it that way. He knew what he wanted. Sheila also knew, and when they were a team, when love was strong before the calamity came to his life, what he wanted. And she would get it for him if he asked. He knew it so he asked himself, When does that become oppression? That is what he wanted to know. He didn’t want to ask, for fear of getting an answer as loud and nasty as the previous haranguing.
People having tantrums rarely listen to reason, he thought so he knew he couldn’t ask for answers that would require reason.
What he said was completely different that anything that danced through his head. Dan said “Good lord, what have I done…” When she gave no answer except the sound of tears he went on “I wasn’t trying to domineer you, I wasn’t trying to do anything to you. It’s not like I didn’t look for work. I did, and you know it. And dammit I wasn’t some damn barbarian walking around the damn house commanding you to do whatever I damn well wanted when I damn well wanted it. You’re just making it sound worse than it was to justify walking out on me because I have no damned money, and you can barely support your damned self, never mind me and you.”
“Dammit, you know I’ve been trying. You know how desperately I want to succeed, or at least get the bills paid if success doesn’t come my way. You left after I started to get real desperate and talk about crime. Which was silly, but crazy ideas don’t sound so crazy when everything else has failed. Yes I was drinking more than I had before, but I wasn’t out every night, and not having money it’s not like I could do that even if I wanted to.”
Dan finished by saying “Listen, everything you said is you justifying leaving. You don’t have to justify anything. If you want a divorce, fine. I always said at the beginning that if you wanted to come in the door is open, and if you want to go, the door is open. That never changed. I don’t know the first thing about divorce, but if you want one, you can have it. I love you, but it’s clear to me that you don’t love me, so… go.”
He hung his head and was damn near ready to shed tears himself. She however had recovered herself a bit and said to him ‘How can you say you looked when you’ve never even had a bite, not even one job interview in the last few months? Even people who look for work irregularly go to interviews occasionally!”
This sounded to Dan like pure bullshit, and he got overheated over it.
Dan said “Shit, are you serious? You don’t know because you’ve been lucky enough to have work, and you were at work so just don’t know, so stop. I’ve been out there, mixing with these animals, trying to find work. Not a lot of places are hiring for what I did. So I’ve started looking in other lines of work. We’ve had this fucking conversation before, so don’t act surprised when I say that it isn’t easy looking for a new line of work when places aren’t hiring…. Ya know…You’re talking about ending a marriage and all you can talk about is work?”
He added “And the weak insults about the sex don’t jibe. You never complained back then, so don’t feed me that blustery bullshit now.”
Sheila was quick to yell at him “Ya see? Ya see? This is what I’m talking about, you’re always abusing me! Yelling at me like all this shit is my fault!
Dan wasn’t going to take anything here lying down. “Ya see? Ya see?” he said mockingly, adding “That isn’t abuse, you threw bullshit at me, and I hurled it back at you, want a life without that kind of abuse? Don’t abuse people. Dumbass”
“Listen,” Dan said, still angry but trying to control himself, then said “We’re getting nowhere fast. If you want to justify leaving me to yourself fine. Go.”
And he hung up, not wanting to hear her any more, not wanting to think about it anymore. He had hoped he’d be able to salvage something in talking with Sheila. He didn’t and wasn’t sure if he could. If there was any chance of them getting back together, time had to heal some wounds, and apparently she had many. Dan felt like a complete mess himself, and was clearly not in the right frame of mind to fix anything at all, never mind something as complicated as a severely wounded marriage.
He had a lot of pent up rage and anger over that phone call, over the poverty and life that clearly made that phone call inevitable, over life in general. Dan needed some way to release that pent up hostility.
To Be Continued…
That’s it from here, America. G’night.